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15 Dec 2020

Hackathon Q4: Transforming the roadmap!

Tractable’s latest hackathon has generated new initiatives that could speed up our ability to develop projects and meet our clients’ needs. 

19 participants from across the company formed five teams, were promised cool t-shirts, and tasked with delivering innovative products that would make a difference to the company – in just two days… 

Our teams came up with several products that could have a big impact on the future of Tractable’s roadmap, including: 

  1. The ability to automatically scale our services in the open-source system Kubernetes, based on the amount of work required. This improves how we can handle high loads of requests for customers while reducing operational costs, allowing us to scale computing power up or down on demand
  2. A way to speed up how quickly one of our product pages loads by 30%, improving responsiveness for users of Tractable products
  3. A new innovative feature that will revolutionise the way insurers work with bodyshops on claims simultaneously…* 
  4. A method of creating a full Tractable system for testing purposes, which will save our engineers hours in every release and enable them to develop more, and develop faster
  5. Improvements to the components that make up Tractable’s UX – aligning colours, icons, typography and spacing

*(this one was so exciting that it needs to remain in the ‘top secret’ bracket for now, but we hope to share more soon…

Our hackathons are events where the company gets together to build new product ideas in a sprint. 

In effect, the company’s normal development work stops, and our staff is given the licence to build and present their most innovative ideas. 

At the deadline, the products are presented to the judging board – the company’s C-suite, and VPs of research, product and engineering. 

The winners are rewarded – both with actual prizes (including t-shirts, home hubs and dinner vouchers) and also, potentially, seeing their ideas become real products that make a concrete difference to the company.

Hackathons help teams grow and bind together to achieve short-term objectives, as well as promote the acquisition of new knowledge. They encourage the development of a strong engineering culture, which in turn helps attract and retain the top talent needed to build a cutting-edge AI

Hackathons are also instrumental in driving Proof of concepts (PoCs) for testing of products and product ideas or building internal tools and utilities, as they allow ideas to travel from paper to MVP in just a couple of days. 

They also allow employees free rein to work on the ideas they are passionate about – and, of course, they’re also great fun! 

And what did our leadership team think? Here’s some feedback: 

Alex Dalyac, Tractable co-founder and CEO, said: “Congrats on another mind-blowing hackathon… the level of clear, direct usefulness to Tractable has reached a new record. It feels like all of the inventions will get used for real and deliver high value, on a daily basis.”

Our next Hackathon will be in March – watch this space for more details and to find out what intractable problems we’re solving next!

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